An extra 42,000 properties in Wales are to benefit from superfast broadband over the next two years.
The Superfast Cymru project is being implemented by BT and Airband, with £19 million of funding provided by Broadband Delivery UK and additional investment expected from the European Regional Development Fund and BT itself.
The project has already provided high speed Internet access to 480,000 premises and is hoping to achieve 79 per cent coverage by 2017. Adoption rates are then expected to reach 50 per cent by 2024. The additional 42,000 homes and businesses being targeted by the next phase of the scheme have either been constructed since the start of the project or were not initially deemed economically viable.
TechWeekEurope reports that Superfast Cymru will also help provide “fibre on demand” to the majority of Welsh businesses over the next few months.
“This has been a priority for the UK Government and we have made significant progress,” explained Wales Office Minister Alun Cairns. “Access to faster, more reliable broadband has a significant impact on our lives – from the way we shop to the way we communicate, helping businesses to grow and compete in the global market.”
Bringing superfast broadband to Wales is a significant infrastructural challenge, with 16 kilometres of overhead cable so far being used to connect remote locations to the BT Openreach fibre network.
However, it has also been revealed that some businesses in Wales are less than satisfied with the standard of the broadband service being provided. A recent survey by network provider CityFibre revealed that 65 per cent of IT leaders in Wales feel that their broadband is worse than in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.